An allele-specific motif has been identified in the sequence of several peptides which are recognized by T cells in association with HLA-DR1. In order to test the predictive values of such a motif we analyzed the 19-kDa antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and identified a sequence containing a pattern characteristic of DR1 restriction. Peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes from every DR1 and 4 individual tested responded to the corresponding synthetic peptide. Nine other donors, constituting seven different DR alleles, failed to recognize this sequence. Recognition of the peptide in association with DR1 and DR4 was confirmed using T cell clones and transfected murine L cell lines expressing DR molecules.